OFF THE RAILS:  In 2020, during the “Time of Anxiety” over George Floyd’s death, the California Legislature created a Task Force on Reparations.  In doing so, it appeared to me that the legislators were violating a fundamental rule of governance:  Never create a commission to “study” a controversial problem unless you are relatively certain that you’re going to want to follow its recommendations.

Reparations for African Americans in California are an unusually bad idea.  To begin with, this was never a slave state.  And if the reparations are not for slavery, but rather for racial discrimination over the course of California’s history, then the problem is that other racial and ethnic  groups have suffered from mistreatment at least as much (and in the case of the Chinese more).  Yet, from the start, the Task Force appeared to be stacked in favor of reparations.

When the Task Force’s report came out in June of last year, it did indeed back extensive reparations. There were some awkward moments, but it looked to me that Governor Newsom realized all this had been a mistake and was going to sweep the report under the rug.

I’m starting to think that maybe I was wrong about sweeping this under the rug.  Or rather I was right in the first place:  It’s very hard for a legislature to turn away from the recommendations of a task force it created.

Recently, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to create a “Freedmen’s Agency.”  Shades of Nuremberg:  The Agency will be required to have a “Genealogy Office,” which will be charged with the task of tracing the pedigree of those who apply for reparations to ensure their eligibility.  If the bill passes the Senate and Assembly and it is signed by the governor, the new agency will violate another fundamental rule of governance:  Never create a bureaucracy unless you want it to have the power to carry out its mission.

I have a hard time imagining that this will end well.

In any event, here are some tweets that I could use some “likes” and “retweets” on.  If you have a Twitter/X account and have a minute, please help out.

With luck, we’ll have some other (non-Twitter) ways to send a message to these senators soon.  Right now there’s an immediate need to get their attention any way we can.